Mummies R Us

I was reading in the paper today about the climber from Maine who went missing in Canada twenty-one years ago.William Holland had been hiking on Snow Dome Mountain in the Canadian Rockies when he slipped and fell. His body was found this month by a pair of hikers. The body had been preserved in glacial ice and had a mummy like appearance when found.

This got me to thinking about Mummies and this amazing town in Mexico called Guanajuato. This city is famous for many things, among them a cemetery where every one in one hundred bodies become naturally mummified! This was proven thanks to a  late 1800’s law that required grave taxes be paid. Poor families that could not make the payments had to suffer their loved ones to be unearthed. It was discovered that many of them were mummified, and they are on display today in a museum there. Mummy souvenirs including little candied mummies are available for purchase. (MMMM! Sugar mummies!!!) Ray Bradbury wrote a book called Mummies of Guanajuato, and included the town and other villages in Mexico in several of his fictional short stories.

A Thousand Flowers and an Ancient Graveyard

In London, archaeologists have unearthed a Roman glass bowl–a millefiori dish (a thousand flowers) with a mosaic of hundreds of blue petals with white borders. This dish is believed to be from around the 2nd to the 3rd century, A.D. It is a unique find in the Western Roman Empire, discovered in what is believed to be an ancient cemetery beyond the walls of the city of old London.

Several other grave goods were excavated, providing even more evidence that the cemetery itself covered a massive area, possibly up to 40 acres in size. The cemetery sat unknown under Victorian era houses that were flattened during World War II, and was later turned into a parking lot. When the area was slated for redevelopment, an archaeological investigation was put into place.

Source: Ruters, Wednesday April 29th, 2009